Families and working women likely to be Budget winners

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Indy Politics

A financial boost for families and children is widely expected from this week's Budget.

Gordon Brown is expected to announce an increase in the child-tax credit, which is received by six million families.

There is also expected to be a top up of the child trust fund, with extra money for children who turn seven in 2009. The extra money will come on top of the £250 children are awarded in the trust, which they can use when they become adults. It will benefit children born after 2002.

Mr Brown wants to take action to address the "pay gap" in Britain's workplaces to ensure women are not paid less than men for doing work of the same value.

There are expected to be "no giveaways" in the Budget. But Mr Brown is likely to press ahead with inflationary increases in alcohol and tobacco, which could see an extra penny on a pint and an increase in the price of a packet of cigarettes. "There are normal inflationary increases in alcohol and tobacco," said one Whitehall source.

The use of new cars that use clean energy will be encouraged through tax breaks.

The Treasury is also planning to defend the private-finance initiative with a report that supports the Government's record.

The Tories oppose the child-tax credit. They are likely to attack the Government for failing to meet its growth forecasts and breaking its own fiscal rules.